Braces are orthodontic treatment devices used in Singapore to align teeth and position them to create an ideal bite. Apart from straightening teeth and creating an aesthetic smile, braces also help to improve function by treating various forms of malocclusions such as underbites, overbites, cross bites, open bites, deep bites etc. This improves masticatory function (ability to chew well) and even speech. Crowded teeth hinder the ability to clean well because of poor access to rotated or irregularly positioned teeth, and can often result in tooth decay and gum disease. More often than not, dental hygiene and health improves after teeth are aligned well within the dental arches.
We offer both metal and ceramic braces at our clinic.
The best time to schedule an orthodontic assessment in Singapore for your child is when he/she is between 8-10 years old or when all baby teeth have fallen out. At this age, we will be able to detect abnormalities in dental development early on, when the growth of their jaws can still be manipulated. Early orthodontic intervention helps prevent more serious problems from developing in future.
If you are an adult wishing to straighten your teeth or improve your bite, you can get braces treatment at any age.
You are a suitable candidate for braces if you have no other pre-existing dental problems such as uncontrolled gum disease or dental caries. If you do, these need to be managed first. Having braces on with pre-existing dental disease can do more harm than good. It is important to get a thorough dental examination with x-rays taken to ensure that you are ready for orthodontic treatment or braces treatment in Singapore.
The types of braces in Singapore used for orthodontic treatment include:
Traditional metal braces involve brackets and wires, usually made of metal. They are attached to the teeth and repositioned however required. Metal braces are typically the least expensive option for braces treatment in Singapore. They are also the most common orthodontic treatment of choice in Singapore and remain very effective. However, metal braces are the most noticeable type of braces and may cause patients to feel self-conscious. Patients can choose to alter and somewhat improve the appearance of their metal braces with coloured bands, but it won't mask the appearance of their braces.
Ceramic braces in Singapore are very similar to metal braces in terms of size and shape, except they are made of a ceramic material that blends with the natural colour of teeth. As such, ceramic braces are a lot less noticeable than metal braces.
In terms of aligning teeth, ceramic braces are as effective as metal braces. They tend to be more popular as compared to metal braces due to their noticeability. However, ceramic braces are typically more expensive than metal braces and run the risk of becoming stained if not cared for properly.
Lingual braces work the same way as traditional metal braces, except they are attached to the inside of teeth instead of outside. As such, lingual braces are not visible at all. Lingual braces are however a lot less effective than traditional braces treatment and often take a longer time to achieve desired tooth alignment. Lingual braces may also be more uncomfortable as they come into direct contact with the tongue and may be more difficult to clean.
Self-ligating braces utilise clips instead of elastic bands to hold the metal brackets of the brace in place. As a result, there is less friction and is easier to clean. Self-ligating braces have similar efficacy to metal braces but are more expensive.
Braces can help to correct misalignments for crooked teeth, and the result is a stunning new smile with perfectly straight teeth. This boosts our confidence and keeps us feeling tip-top.
When your teeth aren’t aligned properly, they may cause you to slur or be unable to enunciate properly, making your speech sound weird and impacting your daily life.
Braces help to realign your teeth in their proper positions and hence allow you to speak more clearly and with confidence. Braces give you straight teeth which allow for more space for the tongue to move, thus effectively reducing slurring when you speak.
With properly aligned teeth, your bite will be improved. This means you are better able to chew your food when you eat, and digestion by the stomach becomes easier because of this.
When teeth are crowded, crooked or misaligned, there may be tight spaces that make it difficult to clear, brush or floss your teeth.
With braces, the teeth become properly aligned so that the nooks and crannies of the teeth can be reached when cleaning to better maintain oral health.
Misaligned teeth can indirectly cause bone loss in the jaw because of the inability to thoroughly clean teeth. When teeth cannot be properly cleaned, there is a build-up of bacteria that can cause bone loss. Severe gum disease can result in bone loss.
At the first appointment, your dentist will examine your teeth and do X-rays to determine if you are suitable for braces.
Your dentist will recommend to you the type of braces that best suit you based on your dental condition and needs. Your dentist will also take an impression of your teeth to plan for the treatment.
Treatment planning will take about a week. It is designed specifically to cater to your need and requirements. Because everyone’s dental condition is different, the treatment must be customised to the patient to achieve the desired outcome.
When the treatment planning is done, there will be a dental appointment for your dentist to scale, polish and clean your teeth.
After cleaning your teeth, the dentist will prepare the teeth for bonding. Then, brackets are cemented onto the teeth based on positions predetermined by the treatment plan.
When the brackets are secured into place, the archwire is placed into the brackets and held together by bracket doors.
Orthodontic treatments require proper oral hygiene to maintain a healthy set of gums and teeth. Your dentist will go through with you the basic care for your brackets and braces, how to brush and floss your teeth, and the appropriate type of toothpaste to use. You will receive spindle brushes to help remove food particles that get caught between the braces of your teeth.
Every 4 weeks, you will be scheduled for an adjustment session with your dentist. Your dentist will change the archwire according to your treatment plan such that your teeth will continue to move towards the desired positions.
Another reason why you should come for dental appointments is because it’s hard to clean your braces on your own. Your dentist will be able to properly clean around your braces, ensuring good dental health throughout your orthodontic treatment.
After the treatment is complete, the dentist will make a mould of your teeth for an orthodontic retainer that will help to keep your teeth in place. Retainer wear is essential for the long-term success of your treatment because if you do not, your teeth will start moving back to their original positions, causing a relapse. Therefore, patient compliance in this aspect is crucial.
There should not be any unbearable pain during the process of getting braces. However, there may be some discomfort such as “tightness” and sensitivity from the teeth being forced to move into new positions.
The discomfort can be managed with over-the-counter painkillers like paracetamol and will go away in a few days’ time. In the event of severe pain, visit your dentist to figure out what is causing it.
The duration of treatment depends on several factors: the amount of tooth movement we are trying to achieve, the severity of crowding/spacing/malocclusion to begin with etc. As an estimate, most orthodontic treatment or braces treatment takes between 12-24 months to complete. There is no difference in duration between ceramic, metal or self-ligating braces. If you wish to complete your orthodontic treatment as quickly as possible, we can speed up this process with the use of Propel VPro+, a high-frequency vibration device that accelerates tooth movement. This can be used in conjunction with Invisalign aligners as well.
In Singapore, the cost of braces usually starts from $3,900 depending on the type of braces treatment you choose and the complexity of your case. Speak with our dentists to find out the cost of braces.
It is advised to wear a mouth guard over your braces during contact sports. You may experience some difficulty playing wind instruments with braces on, but you should be able to get used to it after some practice.
You may experience some lisping when you first get your braces but it should get better eventually.
It is advisable to eat soft foods after the first few days of getting your braces. In general, those with braces should avoid:
You can use:
It is ideal that you clean your teeth and braces after every meal. Pay careful attention to each tooth and its surrounding gemlike. You should also gently brush your braces with toothpaste. It is important that you take care of your teeth and braces to avoid dental problems like decay. You should also go for regular check ups at the dentist to get your braces monitored.
This will depend on the extent of your condition. Braces can only correct dental abnormalities like crooked teeth or poor bite. Jaw surgery is necessary when the bite is misaligned due to different jaw sizes or asymmetry between the lower jaw and upper jaw.
At the start of your braces treatment and subsequently after every braces adjustment, you will experience a dull aching sensation in your teeth. You may also get ulcers due to the metal brackets of the braces. However, this can be remedied by taking paracetamol or placing clear wax over it.